After hearing and seeing great picture and reviews of the Kettle Valley Steam Railway, Jeremy and I decided to give it a try and see for ourselves. And if I had to choose one word to sum up the entire trip I would have to say, ‘Fantastic’! It was better than what I thought it would be and I wasn’t disappointed one bit. From Kelowna to the Kettle Valley Steam Railway Station is a gorgeous 60 minutes drive along Okanagan Lake, past orchard, upon orchard, then through the cute, quaint town of Summer Land. If you have a chance to stop here and get a bite to eat I highly recommend ‘The Beanery’, they even have a working miniature train that follows a track around the cafe. Not to mention, their coffee and pastries are to die for (just saying)!
Once we arrived we went inside to get our tickets, I purchased our online to save our seats but you can purchase them before the train departs as well. Although, it is usually very busy so if you are doing that make sure you call to make your reservation. They offer two different types of train cars to choose from, the Open Air Car or the Vintage Coach Car (we went on the vintage coach car). Inside the train station, they have a unique little gift shop, where you can purchase snacks for on the ride, tee-shirts, and even your own striped railway coveralls. Before you hop on the train be sure to take a brochure to read about all ten sights you will see along the way. The track runs 10 km and is only 90 minutes for the round trip. The conductor tells you all about the ten sights to see along the way, I found the facts very interesting as a usually do with the history of our Country.
The children aboard the train were one of the best parts, they were so excited, and for something as simple as a short train ride. It made me appreciate what we were doing even more. It made me think of the little things along the ride, from the way the steam billowed from the train in front, to the way we would pass through lush orchards of apple and grapes to wetlands blooming with gorgeously vibrant purple and yellow flowers. The way passing pedestrians would stop and wave at the train as we chugged by with smiles as wide could be. Or how the sound of the whistle and the chuck of the train made me think that one day people really used to ride this train. It made me wonder who sat in this spot before me, the last person before it was no longer in use, where they male or female? A mom or a dad? Perhaps they were a business man or women on their way to their next meeting? or maybe it was a child as excited as ever, just like the ones that sat across from me?
Now that you know what was running through my mind on the ride take a look through my eye and see what I saw. Here are just a few of the fifty something photographs I took while exploring around the grounds and along the train ride.
Overall, the trip was great and I would love to do it again but next time in the Open Air Car. The view, however smokey it was on the day we went was still as beautiful as ever. You get to see everything from lakes and animals to the Trout Creek Bridge and all the wineries in-between. At the end of the trip, you stop at the Trout Creek Suspension Bridge, it was built in 1913, stands 238 ft high and stretches 619 ft long. Beneath runs Trout Creek and around you stand the Gaint Head Mountains, here they stop the train and you are able to get off and stretch your legs, take a pee break and even buy some of the fresh local fruit. A lady was selling containers packed full of delicious red raspberries for five dollars the day we went. They tasted like candy and were the perfect healthy treat to tide us over until we got back to the station and headed home.